Thursday, November 15, 2007

Universal Religion and the Many Worlds Hypothesis

We had several comments at the end of yesterday's thread that segue into what I wanted to next discuss, and which will in turn merge into the subject to follow, Petey willing. As mentioned yesterday, President Bush's foreign policy has actually been well within the mainstream of traditionally idealistic but pragmatic Anglo-American liberalism, i.e., trying to bring democracy and liberty to other parts of the world in order to increase our security. It is all too easy to focus upon what has gone wrong with this policy, because we can see it (indeed, the liberal MSMistry of Truth refuses to show us anything else). But as Mead writes,

"No blunder, no folly, no crime, no sin of commission by American foreign policy since has been as devastating and costly as the silent sins of omission that so marked and marred the first half of the twentieth century." It takes a distinct absence of imagination to be unable to see the consequences of appeasement or inaction in the face of evil.

But because our traditional liberalism has now been so infused with leftist assumptions, we really haven't been able to engage in the sort of all out war that is necessary to crush Islamist evil before transforming the Muslim world. Will mentioned the inherent problem of a limited war against true evil, the latter of which is inherently unlimited. In fact, one of the evil things about human evil is that it knows no bounds of decency or restraint, as the Islamofascists demonstrate day in, day out. Sometimes I think that if the liberal media just reported accurately what these monsters actually do, there would be much more support for the war. As it stands, they shield Americans from the horrors they perpetrate, so the only way to be informed is to consult websites such as LGF on a daily basis.

After all, there is a proper use of propaganda in wartime -- and any other time, really. For some reason, the word has taken on wholly negative connotations, but obviously there is good propaganda and bad propaganda. We couldn't have prevailed in World War II without a great deal of positive propaganda that helped Americans keep the nature of the enemy at the forefront of their minds. Our present enemies are no less evil, but you would never know it from the MSM. If you relied upon them, you would likely think that America in general and George Bush in particular are uniquely evil.

On Labor Day I watched Saving Private Ryan again. In the beginning, there was a scene in which a few Germans wanted to surrender, but the American GIs casually shot them and chuckled about it. Now, it would take a far better -- or possibly worse -- man than I to have not done the exact same thing. After all, these were men who, just moments ago, were creating all the carnage on the beach below, leaving your living and breathing friends to die on the sand and in the water.

Today, because of the insane "moral perfectionism" of the left (which we have been discussing in recent posts), the behavior of these American GIs would have, in the words of Senator Dodd, given Hitler the "moral high ground." After all, Dodd and his ilk insist that the Islamofascists can claim the moral high ground based upon our three instances of waterboarding terrorists, while the New York Times published dozens of front page articles about the hijinks at Abu Ghraib, explicitly arguing that we had morally sunk beneath our enemies.

Again, it is not hyperbole to say that these people are literally morally insane.

But what can we do about it? As I will be discussing in subsequent posts, the problem is that it is a fundamental error to regard everyone in the world as inhabiting the same world. For example, we are all familiar with the scheme of an economic first world (i.e., technologically advanced democracies), second world (this used to refer to the communist bloc, but for our purposes can refer to the top-down, centrally planned world of the authoritarian, illiberal left), third (developing or underdeveloped) world, and a fourth world (peoples basically in a state of nature, with extreme poverty, little education or technology, and perpetual war and instability).

However, there are also at least five very distinct "psychospiritual" worlds that are even more different -- and more real -- than the above worlds.

In fact, one of Mead's implicit arguments is that the economic differences of nations rest upon a template of profound psychological and spiritual differences. And if we fail to take these into account -- which we have more or less done in the Middle East -- then our attempts at economic and political reform will be for naught.

In a way, you might say that the left and right ignore the reality of the different psychospiritual worlds (which I will be discussing in more detail in subsequent posts) in distinctly different ways. As for the illiberal left, they would argue that it is racist to make these distinctions at all, as all cultures are equally beautiful and valuable. For example, they make no moral, spiritual, or psychological distinction between Israel and her primitive and bloodthirsty neighbors. But classically liberal conservatives also err in assuming the universality of our stage -- as if everyone wishes to live in a freedom, tolerance and diversity (in their true sense, not in the twisted anti-versions of the left, which should properly be called license, absence of standards, and lack of discrimination).

Now, we've just about completed our discussion of Mead's God and Gold, the main thesis of which is again that "the key to the predominance of the two countries [England and America] has been the individualistic ideology of the prevailing Anglo-American religion." In other words, the key to our economic and political success has been our values. But these values are not abstract or arbitrary, existing in thin air. Rather, they first must exist in minds capable of entertaining them.

For this reason, we can say -- and this should be a truism -- that America's greatest natural resource is her people, specifically, the psychospiritual software that still drives our economy and undergirds our political system. Without this same software (or something close to it), the system won't work elsewhere.

One of my constant themes is that the modern left is literally analogous to a computer virus that does everything in its power to corrupt the psychospiritual software that has made us so successful and so great. They do this in hundreds of little ways that would be too tedious to chronicle here. We all know the major ones by heart, but you have to be pretty firmly detached from the world they have created -- i.e., anchored in reality -- to see with great clarity how their toxic assumptions have insinuated their way into most everything. I mean, imagine how isolated you'd feel in the absence of talk radio and the internet, where you can still connect with people who inhabit your bright and happy Coonworld.

Instead of "Afro-American Studies," "Middle East Studies," or "Queer Studies" -- which will contribute exactly nothing to your ability to understand higher worlds -- what we are desperately in need of is WASP studies. As Mead writes, "the knowledge of this history needs to become part of the intellectual equipment of everyone, Americans and foreigners alike..." He notes that doing so may not be "universally popular" (an understatement), but that "WASP studies" ought to "return to center stage" for anyone who cares about understanding, reforming, or perpetuating the present (classical) liberal system of global power.

Our first order of business must always be to preserve the principles at home that have made us so strong and successful. But in order to preserve them, we must first know what they are. While we must of course maintain our commitment to liberty and free enterprise, Mead has shown us how "any serious decline in either the creativity of American religious faith or its denominational and theological diversity would make the United States a less dynamic society, sap its energy, reduce its wealth, and impair its ability to carry out the remaining elements of the national strategy." Only if these principles are understood can we fruitfully turn our attention abroad and determine how best to speed evolution along and turn the psychospiritual clocks forward elsewhere.

A key idea is again dynamic religion, which "corresponds to universal history, the expression in politics and culture of the call to transform the world. Static religion corresponds to particular history...." Islam -- at least in its contemporary form -- is one static religion, leftism another, for the latter faith denies the Universal Law and would have us all elevate our particular history to the Absolute, through the toxic doctrines of multiculturalism and moral relativism. In subsequent posts I hope to get more deeply into the meaning of dynamic and therefore universal religion.

47 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

WASP studies. A brilliant idea, and I can see the campus protests already.

Where I grew up, it seemed like if you were a standard-issue white American, you didn't actually have a culture (like having an accent - the standard American (Californian) accent used in movies and television is considered the cultural norm, or "not an accent"). Cultural festivals were held to demonstrate the richness, beauty and deep meaning of other cultures, but the implication was always that as white Americans we had ultimately shed all of those things and replaced them with meaningless consumerism (shame on us, but just in case we are tempted to put meaning back into the Holidays, any mention of Holiness around Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving or the 4th of July must be stamped right out).

This non-culture, of course (like the non-accent) is considered to be a superior, more modern (post-human?) way of living - after all, even though those other cultures are pretty and the food and dancing look fun, the beliefs on which they are usually founded are just silly superstition. So we've replaced rich traditions with a blank slate or a void, which is of course now being filled with everything meaningless and shallow.

And WASP, of course, bearing religious and white-overlord connotations, is now a pejorative term used to describe emotionless, sexually-repressed, racist homophobic white church-goers.

How do you begin cultural studies on a culture whose adherents are completely ignorant of their own participation? Oh. Right. That's what a classical liberal education used to entail.

*sigh*

11/15/2007 09:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In one african american studies class, my peers and I spent a large part of the term studying Sojouner Truth. In a queer studies class, we read into the theological debates that have taken place for millenia surrounding the story of Jonathan and David from the Book of Joshua. Please take care with what you say is nothing. There is a baby in that bathwater.

11/15/2007 09:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Well, don't keep us hanging -- what universal principles did you learn?

11/15/2007 09:52:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin Dupree said...

And perhaps more importantly, what lies did you internalize?

11/15/2007 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Cuz,
I'm thinking the baby didn’t need a bath.

11/15/2007 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

“Again, it is not hyperbole to say that these people are literally morally insane.”

Thank you, Bob.

BTW, I don’t believe I made the error “as if everyone wishes to live in a freedom”. I would agree but add that they don’t wish it “yet”.

11/15/2007 09:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The truth is god's covenant, today as then. You find the same tradition carried on by different people in other circumstances. African Americans have had a very different experience in the US than WASPs but its still the same universal truth. I don't think that is a lie.

11/15/2007 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Jeez, he'll have a field day when he sees the ikon of Paul and Peter. 'True Friends' can not, it seems, exist on that animal level.

Let me give a shortcut:

'Afro-american studies' = Filter everything through the lens of the unequal relationship between blacks and whites for the majority of American history

'Womans studies' = Filter everything through the lens of the public (and only the public) inequality of the sexes throughout history. Ignore implications of the inherent private strength and importance - from Eve to Mary to Mom, of women.

'Queer studies' = sexualize everything.

Voila! One history? NO! Three extra complete 'histories of the world' - nevermind they are basically just bizarre distortions of the real thing (which isn't perfect to begin with.) Four times the history for only the cost of your cognitive clarity and culture!

A fool and his money are soon parted.

11/15/2007 10:01:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin Dupree said...

Sounds like the booby drank the bongwater instead of tossing it.

11/15/2007 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

African Americans have had a very different experience in the US than WASPs but its still the same universal truth. I don't think that is a lie.

More or less, yep. Now, attempts to study everything simply in terms of this particular viewpoint and only it, tend to distort heavily.

11/15/2007 10:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you speak from experience in an African American studies class?

11/15/2007 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

About our non-culture - it is not 'post human' - it is 'pre human'. It is emptying out everything so a new wineskin can be made. But, it must be filled with the new wine or it will be filled with all manner of things (like Julie said.)

Well, I guess whichever it is depends on where you are on the cycle...

Great stuff today, Bob. And thanks to the trolls, as always, for being honest.

11/15/2007 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

No, I speak from experience of having to untangle people's minds who have been indoctrinated by them.

It is said the enemy tantalizes you with a grain of truth in order to feed you a ephah of lies...

11/15/2007 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

As it so happens, I took African American Studies at Pierce Junior College in 1974. I was a pioneer, in that I was the only student who wasn't, er, a member of the football team.

11/15/2007 10:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some historians look at economic history only. Others history of science. Specialization has its advantages and its drawbacks but it isn't threatening. Some people just like to do that kind of research. For example my friend likes to research medieval Jewish philosophy from Spain and France, as part of Jewish studies.

What do you want here? Everyone to think exactly the same thing? We all know what happens to that tower of Babel.

11/15/2007 10:15:00 AM  
Anonymous dilys said...

There's the title -- Towelling off the Baby...

Anglo-American is probably a better term than White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. There is nothing inherently caucasian about these values, especially from this point forward (Sowell, Thomas, et al.) And Anglo-Saxon leaves out the Celts, those Born to Fight Jacksonians who cannot be subtracted from the American story. Without them you just might get whoever-it-was' Anglophile snobbery about controlling the masses. Protestant, as in the "don't tread on my soul" feistiness of the Reformation, is historically denotative only. As Leslie's investigations demonstrate, profound recovery of back-to-basics in Christianity may contribute to robust communities in the future.

But the narrative of responsible liberty is the Anglo-sphere's gift to the world, at some cost in coin and blood.

And yes, its roots need accurate doctrine of man and God. It is the zeal to guard oneself against corruption from the world, without understanding inter alia of what "the world" is, and what one is guarding oneself for, that creates the coercive miseries of "moral perfectionism."

Something is deeply, basicly wrong where perfection is taught rather than the balanced virtues in the light of the love of God. It is a dangerous chimera, at its worst in the Progressive context but not unknown elsewhere.

Heh. wv has been infiltrated!
bobfoq

11/15/2007 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Look, I'm not doing this to be hateful or unkind. The stuff people tell me they learned in these classes is for the most just lies.

It's a lot of nursing grievances - much like the bitter ex but on the scale of a whole studies department...

No-one can discount the possibility of someone who really relates the history of Blacks to that of everyone else.

11/15/2007 10:23:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

With all the Diversity Days celebrations going on in all the "enlightened" cities across the country, I think it's time to begin the Commonality Days celebrations. You know, the common thread which holds all these diverse cultures together, (e pluribus unum and all) and the themes of liberty and justice which were a beacon to oppressed people and the reason most came here in the first place.
The first politician to start Commonality Days, gets my vote.

11/15/2007 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Slightly off-topic, but not really…
I read an article awhile back comparing the number of patents per year coming out of the middle-east versus …well …everywhere else. As I said here once before, if they don’t get with the economic flowgram here before they run out of oil there (Peak Oildoomologists wipe your chins), you think they hate us now?

Here are some stats and a link if you need proof:

Patents issued in 2006 by Country of Inventor’s Residence

US 102,267
Japan 39,411
Germany 10,889
UK 4,329
Canada 4,094
South Korea 6,509
Israel 1,325
Saudi Arabia 20
Iran 2
Iraq 0

http://www.uspto.gov/go/taf/cst_all.htm

As Bob says today, again, we simply must “try to bring democracy and liberty to other parts of the world in order to increase our security.”

11/15/2007 10:38:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin Dupree said...

And the two from Iran were for a reversible suicide belt (black or brown, for formal or informal occasions) and an air-conditioned burqa.

11/15/2007 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Or was that the Burqini?

11/15/2007 11:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Americans should only study AngloAmerican history (written from a particularly positive point of view--successful people are always positive), especially immigrants, but everyone. Particularly in public schools, where all the teachers should be educated primarily from talk radio--the good kind.
English should be the only language they learn. Any European language will likely bring a socialist taint.
Any study of other "cultures" should be done in a context of "see how shitty they are!" (almost no patents!)ism.
Any conversations about slavery, lynching, etc. should be done in a dismissive way, but if pushed, refer to the fact that blacks were being "Christianized", and primarily "Anglo-Americanized". It was for their own good.
Refer to "good" blacks who are now beacon's of light, such as, Thomas Sewell, Clarence Thomas, and Condoleeza Rice.
Often refer to cases of Asians who have embraced "Anglo-American" models of success.
Always, when questions of monstrous actions by "Anglo-Americans" are mentioned, dismiss them in the context of "looking through history to the future", while at the same time emphasize monstrous acts by other "cultures" (the ones that don't produce patents), as being evil itself, which must be stamped out at all costs, even if it means eliminating the entire population of the said group.
Finally, suggest declaring total war on any and everyone who even suggests that any other culture has anything useful to offer--especially those cultures themselves.
Remember, Jesus came not to bring peace, but the sword.
In a few years, there should be a significant fighting force for total, global, armed conflict-- the Anglo-Americans, and the coalition of their allies (the ones with patents), against the rest of humanity (using the term loosely, of course).

11/15/2007 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Oh, shucks, you've uncovered the Sooper Secret Plans of the Vast RightWingNut Conspiracy. Now that you've clarified and perma-sealed in your own mind exactly what we think, you may as well move along; nothing more for you to learn here, after all.

11/15/2007 11:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm simply summarizing the last few posts and comments. I can't help it if you don't like Reality. I never once said any of it was wrong.

11/15/2007 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

'W'

11/15/2007 11:56:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

>>I think that if the liberal media just reported accurately what these monsters actually do, there would be much more support for the war<<

Oh yeah, and the MSM damn well knows it. In fact, they've known it from post-9/11 Day One. Most people think that about 15-20 people had to leap off the World Trade Center buildings and get turned into bloody hamburger on the pavement. Wrong, it was over 200 people who had to jump to their freefalling, godawful deaths.

The major networks have the video, but it was shelved immediately, not out of concern for the families of those murdered, but because, in the words of a network exec, "We don't want to contribute to an American war fever".

How thoughtful. But of course, this is the same MSM and leftist power elite that does everything it can to contribute to Islamo-fascist war fever, latest example being de Palma's vile film, "Redacted".

>>But what can we do about it?<<

Yes, maintain the tradition, but honestly, outside of a revolution/civil war, things are going to remain unsettled - it's going to be a pitched battle from here on in, nigh unto the Change.

Meanwhile, down to the very basics, as I see it: change yourself, change the world. Never underestimate the power, by way of spiritual osmosis, of the transformed, transcendent soul. Keep praying, meditat9jg. Be willing to suffer, accept your suffering.

Now I can only speculate, but the recent CA fires - by all reckoning, shouldn't the fires have killed many more people than actually died? More died in lesser past fires. Was it the silent sacrifice of others, the prayers of others that made the difference?

11/15/2007 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

What River said.

11/15/2007 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Like I said, you think they’re angry now.
Oh.. btw, wipe your chin.

11/15/2007 12:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

because of you people, i just put a boot to my dog's ribs i'm so pissed.
why can t you just get with the program

11/15/2007 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger CrypticLife said...

"The major networks have the video, but it was shelved immediately, not out of concern for the families of those murdered, but because, in the words of a network exec, "We don't want to contribute to an American war fever". "

Will,

Telemundo (Spanish tv) aired it initially. Live, I think.

11/15/2007 01:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

will,
wasn't the vast majority of those who died in the racist fires undocumented migrants
maybe bush had ordered them tied up.

11/15/2007 01:12:00 PM  
Blogger Gerard said...

Standing OVULATION for the entire series!

Okay, okay, I'll buy the book already!

11/15/2007 01:59:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Anonyumous, if I didn't think you were having us on I'd say only a lefty could kick a dog as a display of his alleged compassion and caring.

11/15/2007 02:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Philomathean said...

I recently finished Prof. J. Rufus Fears' Learning Company course, "The Wisdom of History", which I highly recommend. Prof. Fears notes that there are actually three types of freedom: (1) national freedom, i.e., the freedom of a country to determine its own fate on the international stage; (2) political freedom, i.e., the freedom to select one's leaders; and (3) individual freedom. In the U.S. we enjoy all three freedoms. But it's perfectly possible to have national freedom without political or individual freedom, as most countries in the Middle East demonstrate. In Prof. Fears' opinion, nothing in history demonstrates a universal yearning for political and individual freedom. The desire for national freedom, however, is constant and reflects the universal human desire power.

11/15/2007 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymous said...
"I'm simply summarizing the last few posts and comments."

Yes. Painfully obvious. However, I'm afraid that your summarizing was outshone by your dog's comment on being kicked (by your typical liberal jackboot):

"Woof!"

11/15/2007 03:11:00 PM  
Anonymous fido said...

Ouch!

11/15/2007 04:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Philomathean said...

Oops. I meant to say "The Teaching Company" but had a senior moment. My bad.

11/15/2007 06:40:00 PM  
Anonymous walmart shopper said...

Bob-reading Coons have got to be one of the world's most privileged minorities. Day in and day out, I can't believe how lucky I am to have stumbled onto this blog.

It reminds me of when I was in college and there was a little dive bar about a stone's throw from campus. This was in the late 90s when Dickie Betts had been kicked out of the band for being a mean drunk and they had hired a player named Jack Pearson to fill in. Pearson was amazing -- he had to narrow his jazz-influenced style to fit in with the Allmans -- and when he was between tours with them he'd come home and play at this little bar with his little local band. Long story short, these were some of the best live shows I've ever seen in my life -- typically played before an audience of about 50 college students. The cover was $5 and we were always pinching ourselves over how lucky we were.

That's how it is here. I get to read these [insert superlative that means brilliant but isn't so shopworn] posts, while knowing full well that I'll never meet anybody in person who has ever heard of OneCosmos or Bob Godwin (apart from those who I've told).

Which is a longwinded way of saying Thanks Bob, and keep up the good work.

Also megaprops to the regular and semi-regular posters, whose comments are always worth reading, and even to the better quality trolls for providing an interesting foil.

All in all, great place. I wish more people knew about it.

11/15/2007 06:51:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin Dupree said...

In case you didn't know, the ABB still gets together with the great Jackie P. from time to time.

11/15/2007 08:01:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Seems that in order for a religion to be universal, it must be alive as the world is alive.

And for a religion to be truly dynamic it must have an unmatched versatility, almost, might one say - a kind of totality?

I've often wondered how the events in revelation will play out. Will they play out as we usually imagine? Or differently? Or both?

Who can know such things...!

11/15/2007 08:23:00 PM  
Blogger Gecko said...

Gerald Vanderleun gives the last few OC posts the nod for good reason:
< a href="http://americandigest.org/index.php">

11/15/2007 08:32:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

On a similar track as Mead, has anyone ever read Isabel Paterson's "The God of the Machine"? I've heard of it for years, written in the early 1940's, she was popular with Richard Weaver, Russel Kirk, Ludwig von Mises ... even Ayn Rand got over the idea it taking God seriously and praised the book... but I've never found more than snippets and references to it. A blurb describes "Paterson looks at the whole sweep of history, from ancient to contemporary, and relates it to the ideas and principles of freedom." Well the Von Mises institute has put up a free online link to a pdf of it... and of course if I can read it on my PocketPC Phone - I gotta read it. I am only up to chapter two, but so far it seems very Coonish.

Here She's talking about the Carthaginians/Phoenicians, a thousand year empire which dissappeared when it died, unlike Athens, Rome or Jereuselum:

"... They were carriers and catalysts.  Yet we seem to start de novo with Greece and Rome.  In reason, this cannot be true; but the illusion must have a  reason. It is that the Phoenicians were intrinsically a physical  phenomenon. They effected a hook-up of an energy circuit  which their political mechanism could not accommodate. In  human affairs all that endures is what men think. Humanity  as such is an intellectual concept. As a nation, the Phoenicians  disintegrated from the impact of a new idea. But three new  ideas were already nascent, which were to form the structure  of Europe; and later, in re-combination, to create the New  World. These complementary ideas need to be recalled..."

11/15/2007 09:27:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Gecko,
Because you helped me save a bundle on my car insurance, I'll reformat your link to Van DerLeun's Brain Jazz: Great Performances of the Blogsphere, 1

He's got taste...

11/15/2007 09:31:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ah, just figured out what the direct link is to Brain Jazz: Great Performances of the Blogsphere, 1... sounds like the nitey-nite bell to me....

11/15/2007 09:36:00 PM  
Anonymous dilys said...

Thanks to walmart s. for another nicely Vertical title.

"Taking the Dive"

11/16/2007 05:32:00 AM  
Blogger CrypticLife said...

I look forward to reading your formulation of universal religion.

11/16/2007 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

'Religious Forumlation'

Somehow, I can't help but think of Voltron with Christ as the black lion...

Jesus: 'Krishna, Moses; Form BLAZING SWORD!'

Ach! Sacrilege!

11/16/2007 01:46:00 PM  

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